We’ve finally made it to the last Monday of the season, and we get… a three-game slate that starts at 9:38 ET. Let’s see what we’ve got.
Today’s SPs and 2023 Stats
A quick note on PLV: If you’re curious about its intricacies, check out Nick’s primer. A quick summary: PLV is a quantifier that uses several variables to assess the quality of each individual pitch; the higher the value, the better the pitch. PLA is the ERA equivalent to PLV (the lower, the better).
Jon Gray ($6,400 DK, $8,000 FD) gets the benefit of being the biggest favorite tonight (-184 on FD) while facing the tattered remnants of the Angels. But Gray has had at least two good matchups recently in Cleveland and Oakland and failed to take advantage, so that is a little worrisome, to say the least. His pitch quality metrics aren’t great either; his 4.91 PLV is below average and his 21.1% K rate is right around league average. That aside, you can’t discount how bad the Angels are right now as they have a 27% team K rate and a .296 wOBA over the last 30 days. So if there were ever a day for Gray to snap out of his recent funk, this would be it.
What do we think about the Irish Panda? Eh, even on a three-game slate I’m having a hard time coming up with a case for Patrick Sandoval other than just to say That’s Baseball, Suzyn.
Sure, he’s coming off a rough start but I’m surprised to see Logan Webb at just $7,900 on DK. I think that’s a price point that we can take advantage of especially with tonight’s game taking place at Oracle Park. The funny thing is, if you look at Webb’s game logs on our player page you’ll see that his latest outing against the D’Backs actually netted an excellent 5.56 PLV so maybe there was some unfortunate luck involved. Webb also pitched an eight-inning shutout at Coors Field just two starts earlier proving that he can easily crush this price tag. Oddly enough, he hasn’t faced the Padres yet this season. Funny how that works.
Webb’s counterpart is Cy Young contender Blake Snell; you don’t need me to tell you he’s a pretty decent option. Meanwhile, the Giants have the fifth-lowest team wOBA against left-handers this year. Pairing Webb and Snell looks like a pretty decent route to take on DK and leaves you an average of $4,062 to spend per bat.
Last but not least we’ve got what should be another good pitcher’s duel out in T-Mobile Park between Justin Verlander and Luis Castillo. I think at this stage we can say that Castillo is the better pitcher but he’ll have a far tougher task against the Astros who have the fifth-highest team wOBA in baseball and also the third-lowest team K rate. This game should also be tense for playoff implications: the Rangers are three games up in the loss column for the AL West but the Mariners and the Astros are tied in the loss column for the last WC.
As far as Verlander goes, the matchup against the Mariners is favorable as they have the second-highest K rate in baseball. His $8,500 tag on DK is hard to argue against even if he’s not quite the same guy he used to be. Although if it’s between Verlander or Webb as an SP 2 on DK, I’d side with the latter given the $600 discount. Webb also has an edge in overall PLV compared to Verlander (5.21 vs. 5.07).
The Rangers are the obvious spot for bats tonight as they’ll face Sandoval, who often struggles with efficiency. Lurking behind Sandoval is an Angels pen whose relievers have tallied a combined 4.73 FIP, the third-lowest in baseball.
Gray has struggled a bit, so you can definitely make a case for picking on him. But…yikes where do we go with this Angels lineup? Maybe Logan O’Hoppe because the catcher position isn’t any good but other than that, hard to get excited here. Brandon Drury is probably the best overall hitter here, although that’s not saying a whole lot.
Verlander’s surface stats are still really good but his 21.1% K rate and PLV confirm he’s not in the same tier as he once was, so the Mariners might be a little interesting. Dominic Canzone showed some pretty decent pop in the minors and is punt-priced. Hey, it’s a short slate and we’ve got to dig deep. Continuing with the Mariners; Verlander has shown reverse splits this year and last year, so that could benefit Julio Rodríguez or Teoscar Hernández.